Friday, November 28, 2008

AIG renaming auto insurance division, cutting jobs

American International Group Inc. plans to rename its auto insurance division and cut 6.6% of jobs in that unit of the company to improve the chances of finding a buyer for the operation.

According to Bloomberg, the aigdirect. com unit will be renamed 21st Century Insurance in January, complete with a new logo, Web site and television commercials. In 2007, AIG acquired Woodland Hills, Calif.-based 21st Century to form aigdirect. com, currently insuring more than 3.5 million vehicles nationwide.

A spokesman for AIG also confirmed that aigdirect. com will cut 6.6% of its workforce, closing offices in 12 cities, as detailed in an Oct. letter to workers.

Rebranding the auto unit will make the business more attractive to a prospective buyer, Tony DeSantis, head of AIG's personal auto group, said in a Nov. 17 letter, according to the report.

In November, AIG received a restructured federal bailout of over $150 billion, including $40 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program in return for preferred stock investment in the insurer.


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